The Benefits of Small Colleges

When selecting the type of college you’d like to attend the size of the campus will most likely factor into your decision. Large universities possess a certain element of prestige and offer more academic programs and extra-curricular activities to choose from. Professors are often said to be renowned and the attraction to being taught by such a prominent faculty may be appealing. With all these possibilities that a large college seemingly presents, what would make a small college more attractive and why would some students choose to pass up the benefits that a large university provides?

Smaller colleges have a definitive charm and offer terrific opportunities in learning. While it is true small colleges don’t offer the diversity of faculty and degree programs that large campuses do, there are many advantages to attending a smaller university that you won’t receive at a large campus.

*You’ll be going to school in a more personable environment. At a smaller college, a higher level of personal recognition exists. In classes you’re an individual, not a student ID number to your instructor. Campus employees and faculty will probably know your name and you’ll have a “small town” feel walking around campus.

*Students receive more individualized learning. Classes can be tailored to meet the individual needs of students because the challenges of trying to cater to high numbers of students are removed. Professors are able to teach you on a more personified level because the total of students they are teaching is smaller and faculty members can take more time to get to know their classes and students intimately.

*Classes have less students enrolled. Smaller colleges allow the luxury of a lower number of students in each class. In large universities it is not uncommon to be in a lecture or class with over a hundred other students; in smaller universities the norm is probably around 25-35 students. For the student who is intimidated by large groups, this scenario is an ideal environment for learning. This also means that you’re likely to get quicker feedback and more personalized explanations on your graded papers.

*Stronger relationships with academic advisors and professors. In a smaller setting, college personnel have more time to really get to know you and are able to be a constant source of support. In large schools, counselors and instructors have hundreds of students on their rosters, and they’ll do an adequate job of advising you when you request it, but it will be less individualized. They’ll have to look up your files and match student ID numbers in order to get a glimpse at who you are, but in the smaller university, chances are personnel will know you by face, if not by name and will recall earlier meetings and conversations you’ve had.

*Easy navigation across campus. Classes and halls are closer together and it’s easier to move from place to place. You’ll have no worries about having to sprint across campus and arriving to class few minutes late and out of breath.

*Smaller schools have more focus on undergraduate students. Larger universities possess a huge population of graduate and/or doctorate students and priority is typically focused on those them. In the smaller setting, the upper level classmen aren’t the dominant population, so you’ll have faculty that in inclined to be more in tune to your needs and will take the time to assist you and provide direction.

Choosing the type of university that is right for you is a highly individualized decision. Whichever type of school is “better” is the one that suits you personally and enables you to reach your goals. When pursuing higher education, you want to receive the best and optimal learning experience available and in order to do this, you want to attend school in an environment that you are comfortable with. What’s most important is to explore all your options and make an educated decision. Upon researching both types of colleges, you might just find the smaller university setting offers the benefits which appeal to you.

I’ve attended both small and large colleges, and in all honesty, I prefer smaller colleges.